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Webinar: Nicholas A. Ashford, “Sustainable Development at a Crossroads”

January 22, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Speaker: Nicholas A. Ashford, MIT Professor of Technology and Policy and Director of the MIT Technology and Law Program

Date: February 11, 2020

Slides for this webinar are now available – click here to download.

About the talk: “Sustainable Development at a Crossroads: Challenges for Industrial Growth, Economic Welfare, Employment, and Environment”

The most important barrier to achieving a transformation to a more sustainable industrial system is lock-in or path dependency due to (1) the failure to envision, design, and implement policies that achieve co-optimization, or the mutually reinforcing – rather than compromising – of societal goals (increasing economic welfare, environmental quality, and employment/earning capacity) and (2) entrenched economic and political interests that game (and gain from) the present system and advancement of its current trends. System-wide change requires system-wide thinking and action — and direct confrontation of wrong-headed policies.

About the speaker: Nicholas A. Ashford is Professor of Technology & Policy and Director of the Technology & Law Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he teaches courses in environmental law, policy, and economics; law, technology, and public policy; and technology, globalization, and sustainable development.  Dr. Ashford is a faculty associate of the Center for Socio-technical Research in the School of Engineering; the Institute for Work and Employment Research in the Sloan School of Management; and the Environmental Policy Group in the Urban Studies Department.  He holds both a Ph.D. in Chemistry and a Law Degree from the University of Chicago, where he also received graduate education in Economics.

Dr. Ashford is the co-author of two important textbooks/readers addressing sustainable development: Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development: Transforming the Industrial State (2018, Routledge Press) and Environmental Law, Policy and Economics: Reclaiming the Environmental Agenda (2008, MIT Press) He has also published several hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals and law reviews. More information is available on his faculty website.


January 22, 2020
11:00 am - 5:00 pm


Strata Center